January 6, 1942 - May 11, 2020
Charles MacArther Ratliff of LaPaz Valley, Quartzsite Arizona, passed away at his home on May 11, 2020, after suffering a stroke last October. He was born in Big Fork Arkansas in 1942 to the late Charles William and Susie McCully Ratliff. Charles was united in marriage September 20, 1962, to Pamela Walker at Mena Arkansas, they were married for 57 and a half years. He is survived by his wife, Pam; his dogs, Rosie and Daisy Mae; his sister, Naoma Rowton of Wichita, Kansas; his three children, Robert “Bob” and Noel Ratliff of Black Canyon City, Arizona, Dori and Ed Frazer of Union, Oregon, and Shannon Wayne and Krissy Ratliff of Welches, Oregon; seven grandchildren, six great-grandchildren, several nieces and nephews; and many friends from his career in the U.S. Navy as well as in his civilian life.
He was proud of serving his country and helping keep us free. He started his Navy life as a gunner’s mate, which included nuclear weapons and evolved into special warfare, UDT and explosive ordnance disposal. They are called Navy SEALs today but back then they did not have protective gear, cameras or robots to help out. He was a Vietnam veteran, participated in testing spacesuits for astronauts and many other experiments. Missions included recovery from helicopter crashes and sunken ships. Many missions that are still classified. He also provided security for three different presidents. Between his enlistments he was a police officer-patrolman.
His second career was in commercial and residential construction. From an early age Charles was an avid outdoorsman: hunting, fishing and sports. He was at home in the woods and mountains, later in life in the desert.
Besides his wife, children and extended family he loved his dogs and horses. Enjoyed leading ATV rides and showing people our historic area (in Arizona), old mines, ghost towns, ranches, pictographs, bigfoot prints and ancient campsites.
Charlie was a lifetime member of the VFW, NRA and was still a member of the Underwater Swim School Association (Key West, Florida), and the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Association.
He loved his card playing nights at the senior center, especially poker. He also played Dominos when given the opportunity and 313 with friends and family.
He was preceded in death by his parents, 11 siblings, many brothers- and sisters-in-laws, and one great-grandchild.
He is missed by everyone that knew him. A celebration of life will be held November 7 at 11 a.m. at the Quartzsite VFW Post 76.